What else do you eat at the beach in January? Seafood, of course. We made a big pot of clam chowder our second night, a perfect choice with a cold wind blowing outside. Our last dinner was a seafood feast with Katie's stuffed mussels, steamed shrimp and crab legs.
Mexican Stew with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes (inspired by recipe on Food Network )
Chipotle Sweet Potatoes: 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
Combine flour, cocoa and chile powder a large Ziploc bag. Add beef and toss to coat evenly with flour mixture. Remove meat and reserve any excess flour mixture. Heat butter and oil in dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown meat in small batches and remove from pot, setting aside until all meat is browned. Season meat with salt and black pepper.
Add bell peppers to the dutch oven and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, broth, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and reserved flour mixture. Return beef to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Return potatoes and reserved cooking liquid to saucepan; add butter, if desired, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt and chile pepper. Mash potatoes until just blended and slightly chunky. Serve stew over sweet potatoes.
*Tip: When you buy stew beef or bison, it is often from less tender cuts. Toss it with unseasoned meat tenderizer (about 1 tsp per pound) before freezing. The meat will then tenderize as it is defrosting and result in a more succulent stew.
For best results, serve with a healthy serving of the sunset, below.